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LETTERS / Shame on Off-campus Housing Landlords!

Dear Editor,

Once again my daughter finds herself in an impossible situation with a landlord in Boone. It is unacceptable that students are taken advantage of by impractical leases and deplorable living conditions.

Last year my daughter moved into a decent house outside of town with several other students. Each person had their own room, and signed their own lease. They shared the kitchen, and other living space, with only two bathrooms for seven bedrooms. There were no written agreements as to how utilities would get paid, so when some of the kids decided not to contribute to pay for heating oil, the responsible students got stuck footing the bill. Then when students ignored the agreed upon quiet times and refused to clean up after themselves, my daughter moved out so she could study and sleep. We had to go to court to settle with the landlord who was well informed of the problems, including firsthand information about illegal drug use in the house, threats against her life, and unauthorized people living in the house.

This year she lives in town. The only heat in the apartment is electric coils built into the walls. If she has more than one on at a time, or if she plugs in a space heater, the circuits blow, so the house is freezing most of the time. The landlord warned that she could only heat one room at a time, but when the pipes burst, he blamed her. The house was so cold the water in the toilet froze.
The citizens of Boone should not be complacent about how these landlords treat students. These places are not inexpensive, yet the property managers are obviously only interested in collecting money and not in maintaining any quality of life. I plan to file an official complaint, but there ought to be ordinances to prevent this kind of blatant exploitation. Parents beware!

Jaye N. White
Fayetteville, NC